What is Age Related Macular Degeneration?
Age related macular degeneration explained:
So, what exactly is macular degeneration?
More specifically this disease is called Age Related Macular degeneration, or AMD.
It is a disorder resulting in slow and progressive damage to an area of the eye called the macula, which may lead to a blurred or black spot in one’s central vision making it difficult or nearly impossible to read or recognize faces.
There is a macula in each eye and it’s part of the retina. The macula allows for crisp central vision.
The disease can occur in one eye or both; however, if it develops in one eye, there is a higher risk that it will develop in the other eye as well, and this is one reason that it is important to diagnose it early.
One of the most difficult aspects of macular degeneration is that it’s a progressive eye disease, meaning it gets worse over time.
The most common early signs of macular degeneration are drusen, which you may have heard of from your eye doctor. Drusen are yellow deposits under the retina and can be either hard or soft.
It’s important for you to know which ones you have because hard drusen become more common with age and may or may not be indicative of age related macular degeneration.
Soft drusen are the more troubling form and give more cause for concern because they're thought to interfere with removal of waste products from the macula and the delivery of rich oxygen to the macula.
Your eyecare professional can detect drusen during a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Ask them if you have drusen and what kind of drusen you have so you better understand the stages of AMD.
Next article >> Understanding 3 Stages of Age Related Macular Degeneration